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Comparing Two Interpretations Of Act 3, Scene 1 Of Romeo And Juliet

3483 words - 14 pages

Comparing Two Interpretations of Act 3, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story, which plays with its
audiences emotions throughout the play. This dramatic play by William
Shakespeare is about two young people from different families. Romeo
is a Montague and Juliet a Capulet. They live their romance secretly
so the feud between the families would not get out of hand. Due to the
tension, the lovers take their own lives and the families are left
heartbroken. Act 3, Scene 1 is so important in the play because until
the key events of the scene unfold, the play is portrayed as a
romantic love story, but as the scene draws to an end, the atmosphere
is a lot darker and it actually develops into a tragedy.

At the start of Act 3, Scene 1, Benvolio desperately tries to avoid an
argument with the Capulets. Benvolio's eagerness to flee is shown in
the line, 'I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire.' He makes a big
effort to persuade Mercutio to go home as the heat will make them very
agitated and there will be will a shorter tolerance of each other if
they meet the Capulets. Benvolio's explanation of this is shown in the
line, 'For now these hot days is the mad blood stirring.' Benvolio
believes they would have no chance against the Capulets, as shown in
the line, 'And if we meet we shall not 'scape a brawl.' In the opening
few lines the atmosphere is tense and gives the audience a sense of
excitement as they don't know whether the Capulets are going to turn
up or if Mercutio and Benvolio will leave to avoid an argument. Baz
Luhrmann's Act three, Scene 1 opens on a hot and humid day, with
Mercutio shooting in the sea on Verona Beach. Benvolio, Romeo's cousin
is with him. Mercutio is bored so entertains himself by frolicking
about in the water. The tense mood was created with the sound of
thunder and the gun shots from Mercutio. The sky dramatically changes
colour and the weather changes. The comedy is stripped from the
beginning of this scene. Zeffirelli's version opens with the same text
as Shakespeare. Benvolio and Mercutio are in the square, bored.
Mercutio jumps into a water trough and starts messing around. Mercutio
is full of silliness and laughter. This is shown by his playfulness
with his handkerchief. There is an emphasis on Mercutios fooling
around and Benvolio's concerns are not portrayed as very serious,
unlike in Luhrmanns version.

Mercutio being the trickster that he is shrugs off Benvolio's words
and replies with a longer quote which opposes Benvolio's comment and
accuses Benvolio of being the one that always starts the fights. With
the line, 'Thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no
other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes,' Mercutio is talking in
response to Benvolio's comment about going home. Mercutio is quite
blunt...

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